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Close Up at a Distance: Mapping, Technology, and Politics Hardcover – 26 Mar 2013

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 232 pages
  • Publisher: Zone Books - MIT (26 Mar. 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1935408283
  • ISBN-13: 978-1935408284
  • Product Dimensions: 19.5 x 2.2 x 23.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 329,876 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description


"Here is an extraordinary book: a beautifully designed and politically consequential geography of power. Vision from space goes far deeper here than merely one of contemplating the earth from above. In Close Up at a Distance, Laura Kurgan brings us forms of sight that range from the environmental eye to the optics of mass murder in Balkans; from postwar urban planning in Kuwait to the internal migration of inner-city residents to out-of-city prisons. If you want to see what politics through design can be, read this." -- Peter Galison, Joseph Pellegrino University Professor, Harvard University " Close Up at a Distance is an urgent call for an ethico-political project adequate to our age of global imaging technologies. Because new kinds of satellite representations determine how we know the world, we must free ourselves from authoritarian -- purportedly objective -- interpretations of these images and, understanding how they are produced and used, assume responsibility for critical interpretations and uses. Artfully, Kurgan shows us how. Her nine mapping projects use satellite technologies to create alternative images or to divert existing ones from their official, commercial, and military functions. This book brilliantly theorizes and demonstrates the democratic importance of technological literacy." -- Rosalyn Deutsche, author of Hiroshima after Iraq: Three Studies in Art and War " Close Up at a Distance is both a contemporary history of the use of geographic images for advocacy and analysis, and a sophisticated critique of the aesthetic, technical, and political decisions that underlie them. Kurgan is rightly known for maps that help us see social issues in a new light, but this book establishes her as one of the key thinkers about images, influence, and power." -- Ethan Zuckerman, Director, Center for Civic Media, MIT

About the Author

Laura Kurgan is Associate Professor of Architecture at the Graduate School of Architecture, Preservation, and Planning at Columbia University, where she is Director of the Spatial Information Design Lab and Director of Visual Studies.

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